In therapy the client often presents with a repressed or unmitigated Id or an over functioning or non-function Super Ego. In therapy, as the Id and Super Ego are unconscious, we look at Ego functioning/Ego strength to evaluate a client. A well-functioning individual will have a high level of Ego strength; this means that the individual is a rational player. The individual is able to weigh both the options from the Super Ego, the
needs of the Id, and the reality of her/his situation to make the best decision possible to her/him at the time. These individuals usually do not make it into therapy because they are doing okay in their lives, or at least think they are.
The clients who make their way into therapy tend to be those with low Ego strength. These individuals can be easily influenced by outside forces because they do not like to make choices on their own, and may actively try to avoid making choices. They often find themselves stuck because they do not have the personal insight to determine what they want, e.g., they cannot decipher what the Id is pushing them to do/what the Super Ego thinks they should do, or they are unable to make a choice either way often due to the perceived constraints of the outside world (in therapy we call these clients but-ers; for every solution that they or the therapist comes up with, they follow it with, that could be true, but.. and a reason why a solution won’t work). The goal in therapy for clients with low Ego strength is to first help them recognize what their needs/desires are, and then help them recognize their power in making a choice, which is often coupled with awareness of the fact that they cannot please everyone in the external world (or their internal parent). The ultimate goal is for clients is to recognize the forces that are weighing on them, assess the reality of the situation, and make the best possible choice even if it may have some negative consequences, with the objective for the positive consequences to outweigh the negative.